Watertown opens new funding opportunity for small businesses


Image of Watertown Public Square on March 5, 2020. (WWTI)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Local businesses are eligible for additional federal funding being administered through the City of Watertown.

Watertown City Council has announced a financial relief program for small businesses in the City. Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, eligible businesses can receive funding through the Community Development Block Grant.

This program has a total budget of $450,000. The City will distribute funding to eligible businesses at an award value of up to $10,000 per business.

According to the City, this funding will be used to avoid or reverse the loss of jobs held by Low-to-Moderate Income individuals, and aid small businesses that have experienced revenue losses and hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Council added that it anticipate applicants will utilize funding to cover working capital expenses such as rent, insurance, utilities, inventory, supplies or other hard and soft costs.

This funding can cover both forward and backward-looking expenses, but cannot cover past payroll.

Additionally, grant funding from this program cannot provide a duplication of funding for the same expenses if applicants have applied to the Paycheck Protection Program or other financial relief grants or programs. Applicants must also provide proof of funding.

The City added that a condition of this program is that grant funding must benefit Low-to-Moderate Income persons.

To be eligible for this program, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Independently owned business with 25 employees or less
  • Must have been in operation prior to January 1, 2020
  • Businesses that receive assistance are required to provide payroll records showing the type of job and the annual wages or salary of the job to demonstrate that the position filled or held/retained was a low- or moderate-income position

The City of Watertown also confirmed that it intends this to be a primarily reimbursement-based program. However, the City will consider advance payments for some businesses.

All applicants must submit their completed applications to applications@watertownldc.com.

Application forms will be available beginning June 22, 2021. The application period will open on June 25, 2021 and will remain open until funding is exhausted.

Early applications will not be accepted. Applications will be considered by the Watertown Local Development Corporation and the City of Watertown on a first come, first-serve basis.

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